questions : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

what is ur impression of kenneths version of hamlet?

how is the acting in this version of hamlet, evaluate, pick 2-3 characters as examples.

-- chris (, January 22, 2003


Well, like I said when you asked before, it's up to you, according to what you think about the printed text - unless you just mean the actors' pure technical skills. But I'm assuming you mean characterization, interpretation, rapport, unity and the like. So, for example, if you see WS's Claudius as a personification of unmitigated evil (especially as suggested through the biblical Cain and Abel and snake/serpent in the garden parallels) you might think Derek Jacobi's portrayal of Claudius is too sympathetic. However, you may think WS's Claudius is redeemed by his attempt to pray and obtain forgiveness from God (even though he can't), by his love for Gertrude (even though he doesn't stop her drinking the poison when he most probably could), by his courage when Laertes attacks (even though he probably knows after the first seconds that he can easily talk Laertes round), or even maybe by his degree of ability as a ruler. If so, you may decide Derek Jacobi's Claudius is too vicious here and there. Yet again, you may conclude that Claudius is a reasonably ordinary guy who happens to give in to an initial temptation to evil; once thus infected by evil, he is cancerously destroyed by it himself, and, infecting others with it, he destroys them too, even while all this may be against his will and good in his nature. If you think this, you may reckon Jacobi's Claudius is spot on.

-- catherine england (, January 22, 2003.

Same goes for all the characters. Incidentally, I wouldn't go so far, like Erich, as to say that Jack Lemmon's Marcellus merits four letters. But I do think Marcellus is a bit bolder and tougher than Jack Lemmon played him. If I had to pick two or three characters (yuk, grrrr, annoying, narrow again), I'd select from Claudius, Ophelia, Horatio, Gertrude and Marcellus.

Another option, though, might be to consider the originality and depth put into some of the smaller roles, including Reynaldo, the two gravediggers, Osric and even the Gentleman in Act V.

Of course, all this sort of stuff comes from direction as well as acting.

-- catherine england (, January 22, 2003.

Oh, come, come, Catherine_England!!!! Jack Lemmon WAS truly terrible. He WAS! I credit the man as being one of the finest screen actors of his generation but, please, for the love of God, admit his faults and agree with me that he was nightmarishly bad. Aye, I would say that the characterisation of Reynaldo was wonderful. That scene is a pleasure to watch. Hurrah!!

-- Erich Zann (, January 22, 2003.

Oh, I don't know. I thought he was kinda cuddly cute. Which gives a whole new spin to Act I Sc v as filmed by Branagh: 'If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise ...'. Yep, I'm gonna call my next teddy bear Marcellus.

-- catherine england (, January 23, 2003.

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